Lagos Nigeria Travel Blog

February 7, 2011

Deborah Robin Croft wrote

 

Deborah Robin Croft, a member of U.S. Africa Command’s Public Affairs Office, is on temporary assignment in Abuja, Nigeria working at the U.S. Embassy.

 

Recently, during my TDY at the US Embassy in Nigeria, I had the chance to go to Lagos for a few days. Abuja is a planned city and was declared to be the capital of Nigeria in 1991. The streets are wide and there are median strips between the lanes with planters and trees and grass. The buildings are well built with architectural flourishes and there is quite a lot of green space around these buildings. There is even a natural landmark, Aso Rock, on the north western border of the city and Abuja is surrounded by rolling hills and has creeks and streams running through its center.

Not so in Lagos. Although Lagos is on the coast and there are coastal vistas as far as the eye can see on the southern end of the city, Lagos is a huge, sprawling urbanization with smoke and smog filled air, limiting visibility even on a sunny day. Another major problem for the almost 8 million inhabitants is the unrelenting traffic that clogs all of the roadways of the city from 7 AM until well after 7 PM daily.

As an American diplomat, my mobility was restricted to Victoria Island and I was allowed on Lagos mainland only to go to and from the airport. During my short stay however, I was able to convince the embassy drivers to take me to several areas where I could stick my head out of the window and shoot a few pictures from an overpass. We were able to go to one of the neighborhood markets as well but only for a very brief time. What I saw was both vibrant and inspiring and in some cases, deeply sobering. Here are some pictures of Lagos from my recent trip.

See also: Volunteering in Abuja, Nigeria Over the Holidays

Visit us at www.africom.mil/lync

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